San Siro demolition: TAR put foot down


Update on San Siro development Image: San Siro, Jose Luis Hidalgo R., CC BY 2.0

The San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, cannot be demolished. This is the essence of the ruling handed down by the TAR (regional administrative court of law) of Lombardy on May 7th, which declared inadmissible the appeal filed by the Municipality of Milan against the cultural constraint imposed by the Superintendency on the second ring of the Milanese facility.

‘MILAN REPORTS’ stated that the above constraint has not yet come into force, but it will take effect in 2025, upon the completion of the 70 years of the second ring, translating into the fact that the San Siro Stadium cannot be demolished.

The San Siro Stadium is a stadium in the San Siro district of Milan, Italy. It is also known as the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza and by the AC Milan fans as the San Siro. It has a seating capacity of 80,018, making it one of the largest stadiums in Europe, and the largest in Italy. It serves as the home venue of the AC Milan and Inter Milan.

The AC Milan, or simply Milan, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy, Italy. Founded in 1899, the club competes in the Serie A, the top tier of Italian football, and has spent its entire history there with the exception of the 1980-1981 and 1982-1983 seasons.

The Inter, and colloquially known as Inter Milan in English-speaking countries, is an Italian professional football club based in Milan, Lombardy (Italy). The Inter is the only Italian side to have always competed in the Serie A, the top flight of Italian football, since its debut in 1909.

The Regional Administrative Court (TAR) of Lombardy is located in Milan, Italy. The TAR is the first instance court for all public administration acts, including those of the State. The Council of State is the second and final instance court and only rules on appeals.

The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage in Lombardy has imposed a cultural constraint on the San Siro Stadium in Milan, Italy, that prohibits the demolition of the second tier and its distinctive spiral towers due to their cultural interest. The third ring and roof are not protected by the constraint.

The Superintendence of Cultural Heritage in Lombardy is responsible for establishing guidelines, policies and standards for cultural heritage. They also prepare an annual report on the state of the cultural heritage, which is discussed at the National Forum.

Following the above ruling and the Inter Milan and the AC Milan in no mood to rejig the San Siro Stadium, the two top-of-the-heap clubs decided to build their own home venues, respectively.

The decision to build standalone venues was taken by Inter-Milan last year itself when the Lombardy Regional Commission for Cultural Heritage confirmed in August 2023 that the second ring of the stadium was being placed under an anti-demolition restriction by the Superintendency.

Though both AC Milan and Inter Milan were in favor of totally demolishing the San Siro, but now that the die has been cast – their home digs cannot be pulled down – they have decided to go ahead with their own standalone facilities.

The AC Milan plans to build a new 70,000-seat stadium in San Donato Milanese, a suburb in the Southeastern part of Milan, Italy. And the Inter Milan has received a significant boost in their attempts to build their own stadium in Rozzano in Milan. The ‘Nerazzurri’ have launched a plan to build their ground in the nearby region of Rozzano, a commune in the Metropolitan City of Milan.

‘MILAN REPORTS’ further stated that following the two top-flights’ decision to leave San Siro, the Mayor of Milan, Giuseppe Sala, stated, “Its proof that our decision to renovate the San Siro is the only possible solution. But, today’s (May 7th) ruling is another step towards saying that the San Siro cannot be demolished, so there are two alternatives: Either we manage to convince both the teams to renovate the San Siro, which would be a victory for the City, or if that doesn’t happen, the San Siro Stadium as well as the City of Milan would lose two gems in the form of AC Milan and AC Milan. This would be a huge loss and would not augur well for anyone.”

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